Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ramen in Fukuoka

The first time I had ramen in Japan was in Oita (where my sister lived for two years) in 2002,
but at the time I really didn't think much of it (though I enjoyed a lot of the other food, and drinking Kirin on tap). I'd had another chance to try Hakata (Fukuoka) style ramen at a place in Hongdae last year (Hakata Bunko, maybe? It's down the alley north of the broadcaster there (극동방송국)) and enjoyed it, so when I had a chance to go to Fukuoka on a visa run last week (I'd flown into it twice before, but had never explored it), and walked all over the city during my two days there (around 14km - my feet were pretty sore at the end of each day), I finally had a chance to try it at the source. With Kirin draft, of course. It made for a very filling lunch.

The one above was at a place I stumbled upon near Canal City (a shopping center worth visiting just for the architecture, i thought), while the one below was from Ippudo, which I saw advertised on the Fukuoka Now tourist map, and which also offered (non powder-based) take home packs.

I think I preferred the first place better, but Ippudo had this:

That's right - a sesame seed grinder. Very cool. (In second place was the automatic pint-pouring machine at a restaurant I went to for dinner).

Oh, and I had to listen to a lecture on Korean history this week which mentioned that the Japanese deny Korea's ancient influence on their culture (other than the Emperor mentioning several years ago that his great, great (x 67) grandmother was a Baekje princess). I guess he didn't see the several exhibits at the Fukuoka city museum mentioning Korea's influence on the area.

Anyways, sometime soon I'll try one of those take home packs of ramen...


ZenKimchi said...

I absolutely love Hakata ramen. I have been looking for anything even close to it in Korea and have turned up disappointed. Fukuoka is highly underrated. I love the place!

hoihoi51 said...

>>>Oh, and I had to listen to a lecture on Korean history this week which mentioned that the Japanese deny Korea's ancient influence on their culture (other than the Emperor mentioning several years ago that his great, great (x 67) grandmother was a Baekje princess).

she was 10th generation zainichi.
so she was mixed with Japanese for 300 years.. so she was almost Japanese

Before that
according to wikipedia

Kammu was the son of Emperor Kōnin. According to the Shoku Nihongi, (続日本紀), Emperor Kammu's mother Yamato no Niigasa, later Takano no Niigasa, was a descendant of King Muryeong of Baekje, Korea. Kammu was born before his father ascended to the throne.
After his father Kōnin became emperor, Kammu's half brother was appointed to the rank of crown prince. Later Kammu was named to succeed father instead of his brother.
私自身としては、桓武(かんむ)天皇の生母が百済の武 寧王(ぶねいおう)の子孫であると続日本紀(しょくに ほんぎ)に記されていることに、韓国とのゆかりを感じ ています」と語られました。
around AC400 king of Baekje, 蓋鹵王 sent his daughter(池津媛) to japan as a hostage
because Baekje need Japan to defend her against Koguryo.
1) afetr that ,she was killed in japan ...the story was so sad.....
2)軍君 ,brother of 蓋鹵王, was sent to japan instead of her
3)son of 軍君, 武寧王 was born in japan as #25 king of Baekje, so,he was called Shima島王 
4)after that ,son of 武寧王 was sent to japan as a hostage..
5)his son was sent to Japan. after him, His decendants settled in japan
6) 〃 became a japanese
9)〃low class government official, His daughter married the emperor family.
then he was given the name of "Takano"
10)高野(takano)新笠 AC733,she became #49 Emperor 光仁 's concubine.
AC773 her son ,Kanmu became a prince and 781 became #50 emperor

桓武天皇は白壁王の第一皇子として天平9年(737年)に産まれた。 初名は山部王。父の白壁王の即位後も母の高野新笠が下級貴族に属していたため、立太子は望まれておらず、当初は官僚としての出世を目指しており、大学頭などを歴任していた。しかし、藤原氏などを巻 き込んだ政争によって異母弟である前皇太子他戸親王とその母であった皇后井 上内親王が突如廃されて宝亀4年(773年)に立太子。天 応元年(781年)、4月15日、即位。
I think it was good..
blood or race are meaningless for emperor.
emperor in male line is only needed .....

then she got a baby as a mistress

Matt said...


Do Japanese pledge allegiance to the Emperor for citizenship?

Anonymous said...

@ hoihoi51

"she was mixed with Japanese for 300 years.. so she was almost Japanese"

"Almost Japanese," after 300 years of mixing, huh? How many years would it take to be "fully Japanese" I wonder...

hoihoi51 said...

Her ancestor came to Japan 300 years or more ago.

for example, Shigenori Tōgō

No one calls he is a korean

@ Ben
>Do Japanese pledge allegiance to the Emperor for citizenship?

I dont know what you mean..
the Japanese Emperor does not have a Japanese citizenship.

Matt said...

Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words: “The tears that she has shed in public in Liverpool are nothing compared to the tears she has shed over the last year. I can’t emphasise strongly enough the volatility of the situation inside Kensington Palace”

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne - the Tragic True Story of Japan’s Crown Princess: "… a look behind the ‘Chrysanthemum Curtain’ to the arcane world of the Japanese royal family, where vestal virgins still preside at Shinto rites and the position of royal stool inspector was only recently abolished. Through Masako’s and Naruhito’s love affair, it opens a window on Japanese attitudes towards parenting, mental illness, the role of women, and the place of the monarchy. Princess Masako asks and answers many questions which can never be raised in Japan because of the reverence in which the Emperor and his family are held. What is the real reason Masako had to abandon her studies at Oxford? Why did the Kunaicho, the powerful bureaucrats of the Imperial Household Agency, oppose the marriage? Who are the shadowy figures that persuaded Masako to give up her career and marry the prince? Why is there such secrecy over the couple’s use of IVF, and Masako’s mental illness? What does the future hold for the star-crossed couple – and for the survival of the monarchy. But above all it is the story of a romance gone wrong, which neither will survive undamaged, but from which neither seems capable of escaping…"

Matt said...

EMPEROR AKIHITO Emperor — poise under public spotlight by Takahiro Hukuda (Japan Times):

How are relations between the Emperor and the Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako?: "It is believed the row started after the Crown Prince said in 2004, "It is true that there were developments that denied Princess Masako's career as well as her personality driven by her career."After marrying the Crown Prince in 1993, the Harvard- and Oxford-educated Crown Princess reportedly faced pressure to produce a male heir to the throne and started showing symptoms of depression. She was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder in 2004.The Emperor, however, said he could not fully understand what his son meant to say, which revealed a distance between the two"

How much is budgeted for the Emperor's annual expenses?: "According to the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor's expenses can largely be classified into two categories — personal and palace-related. The Emperor, Empress and other inner-court members of the Imperial family spend their personal expenses on daily living and activities. Although the agency does not provide a breakdown of how much each member of the royal family spends, or what the funds are spent on, ¥324 million was budgeted for this fiscal year."

What remarks by the Emperor have caught the public's attention?: "During a news conference to mark his birthday in 2001, the Emperor drew public attention to a historical document that shows one of his eighth-century ancestors descended from the king of an ancient Korean kingdom. He said he felt a certain "kinship" with the Korean Peninsula."

Has the Emperor made any observations regarding the war?: After inheriting the throne from his father, he has at times made remarks considered both controversial and politically sensitive. During an October 1991 visit to Japan by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Emperor merely said the war made him very sad. An estimated 140,000 Dutch soldiers and civilians were put into prison camps by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Dutch East Indies during the war. The queen, however, devoted a major portion of her address at a state banquet to the issue.

"Many of my compatriots did not survive the war," she said. "Those who did return are marked for life by their experiences. Consequently, they are still suffering, in spite of the time that has passed since then."

The Emperor subsequently devoted more time in commenting about the war when he made an official visit to the Netherlands in May 2000, expressing grief and sadness. "It grieves our hearts to think that so many people were victimized in their respective ways during that war and that there are still those who continue to bear unhealed scars from it," he said at a state banquet. "We believe that all of us should make incessant efforts to foster peace so that such events will never be repeated."

Matt said...

CLOSE NEIGHBORS? Emperor's remark pours fuel on ethnic hot potato (Japan Time): "The Emperor has long been a symbol of ethnocentric nationalism . . . the myth of Japan as an ethnically homogeneous country,"

The emperor's new roots (Guardian, UK): "The constitution merely declares him to be the symbol of the nation. Academic debates about his ethnic and national "purity" have made little progress. The imperial household agency have reportedly made archaeological sites in the former capital of Nara off-limits because officials fears the discovery of evidence that emperor's Korean ties are far stronger than has long been taught in Japanese schools."
Japanese emperor is the descendant of sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami in the dawn of creation. Let us adore and worship him!

Helen said...

Korean instant ramen is most delicious.(for me)

Matt said...

@The Canadian,

>>> Academic debates about his ethnic and national "purity" have made little progress. The imperial household agency have reportedly made archaeological sites in the former capital of Nara off-limits because officials fears the discovery of evidence that emperor's Korean ties are far stronger than has long been taught in Japanese schools.

So you mean Japanese royal family originated from Korean peninsula?

Matt said...

@ Canadian,

Guardian, UK - Archaeologists granted access to Japan's sacred tombs. Interesting part is:

"Akihito alluded to his Korean ancestry on his 68th birthday in 2001. In remarks that were ignored or played down by most of the domestic media, he said: "I for my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryong of Paekche."

Kammu reigned from 781 to 806 AD while Muryong ruled the Paekche kingdom in Korea from 501 to 523 AD.

Earlier this month, the agency reprimanded a member of staff for removing a contentious entry about the imperial family's background on Wikipedia's Japanese-language site.

The offending paragraph read: "There is a view that the imperial household agency may be afraid that historical facts may be discovered that could shake the foundations of the imperial system."

The employee received a "severe" verbal warning not for his editing, but for making the change on an agency computer, which can be traced by the operators of the online encyclopaedia."

Matt said...

@ Mark,

The Trouble with Japanese Nationalism by Francis Fukuyama

"Anyone who believes that the Yasukuni controversy is an obscure historical matter that Chinese and Koreans use to badger Japan for political advantage has probably never spent much time there. The problem is not the 12 Class-A war criminals interred at the shrine; the real problem is the Yushukan military museum next door.

Walking past the Mitsubishi Zero, tanks, and machine guns on display in the museum, one finds a history of the Pacific War that restores “the Truth of Modern Japanese History.” It follows the nationalist narrative: Japan, a victim of the European colonial powers, sought only to protect the rest of Asia from them. Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea, for example, is described as a “partnership”; one looks in vain for any account of the victims of Japanese militarism in Nanjing or Manila.

One might be able to defend the museum as one viewpoint among many in a pluralist democracy. But there is no other museum in Japan that gives an alternative view of Japan’s twentieth-century history. Successive Japanese governments have hidden behind the Yushukan museum’s operation by a private religious organization to deny responsibility for the views expressed there.

That is an unconvincing stance. In fact, unlike Germany, Japan has never come to terms with its own responsibility for the Pacific War. Although socialist Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama officially apologized to China in 1995 for the war, Japan has never had a genuine internal debate over its degree of responsibility, and has never made a determined effort to propagate an alternative account to that of Yushukan."

Matt said...

Suggestions that the Japanese Emperor may be descended from mounted Korean conquerorshave made archeology a hot political subject by John H. Douglas:

"A Chinese chronicle compiled in A.D. 297 refers to the inhabitants of the Japanese islands simply as the Wa -- literally, "The Little People" -- and describes a fragmented political structure of more than a hundred separate tribes, nominally ruled by a female shaman, Queen Himiko (meaning "Sun Daughter"). Scarcely two centuries later, however, by the reign of Emperor Keitai (c. A.D. 507-531), a strong central government had emerged on the Yamato Plain, near present-day Nara, ruled by an aristocracy of horse riding warriors. But where did they come from?

This unanswered question lies at the heart of perhaps the most puzzling and controversial issue facing Japanese historians and archeologists: the origin of the Japanese state and the Imperial Family. The traditional view, encoded in law until after World War II, held that the first emperor was descended from the Sun Goddess, who may be a mythologized version of Queen Himiko. What horses are mentioned in the texts are generally described as coming in tribute from vassal, or at least inferior, states in Korea.

At the other extreme lies the theory first popularized by Tokyo University archeologist Namio Egami, that the horsemen of Yamato were conquerors. They would have been offshoots of the northern barbarians who had overrun China, but who more recently had inhabited the Korean Peninsula, and would have launched their invasion from there.

Even now, the slightest suggestion that Japan's revered and unbroken dynasty of emperors might have Korean ancestors comes as an unspeakable heresy. Relations between the two countries have seldom been good, and ethnic Koreans form what some see as a troublesome minority in modern Japan. Official opposition came swiftly."

hoihoi51 said...

>"I for my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryong of Paekche."

he never said such like that
he sai I feel some conection with them

自身としては、桓武(かんむ)天皇の生母が百済の武 寧王(ぶねいおう)の子孫であると続日本紀(しょくに ほんぎ)に記されていることに、韓国とのゆかりを感じ ています」と語られました。

ゆかり  he said "I feel a connection'

Matt said...


Who are the Japanese: "Scientific studies in different fields - dialectology, archaeology, anthropology, genetics, geology, and histology - indicate that proto-Koreans began to colonize the Japanese islands some 2,500 years ago. The immigrants from Korea pushed aside the stone-age Jomon inhabitants. Silla maintained a close tie with Japan but after the fall of Silla, Japan and Korea evolved relatively isolated from each other."

The Japanese Identity: "Prior and during the Asia-Pacific War, Koreans living in Japan were considered to be Japanese if they assimilated to Japanese culture- acquiring Japanese names and language, continuing the notion of a homogenous nation. All students were forced to recite “We will unify our hearts as one and be absolutely loyal to the Emperor.” For Koreans living in Japan, this meant rejecting Korea. By taking away what defines the Koreans as being Korean- their language and their familial names, Japan sought to make the Koreans, Japanese. Yet this period of being Japanese and embracing the “Japanese nationality” was short-lived for many Koreans.

Following the close of the war, many Koreans involved in the war were tried as Japanese for war crimes, yet once the trials ended so did their “Japanese nationality”. Because they were no longer considered to be Japanese citizens, those Koreans who fought in the name of the of the Emperor were not eligible for the same government benefits as their Japanese comrades. By not recognizing the former Korean soldiers as being Japanese, Japan has no obligation to compensate the men who chose or were forced to die in the name of the Japanese Emperor. By denying the nationalist of many Koreans, Japan maintains its image as a homogeneous state while saving money at the same time."

"Up until 1872 when it was conquered by the Meiji regime, Okinawa was its own country separated from Japan. As its own country, Okinawa developed its own cultures and its own Japanese dialect. After conquering Okinawa, the Japanese government sought to have Okinawans assimilate to Japanese language and culture. This assimilation continues to take place today. While Okinawa may be considered apart of Japan on paper, in practice, Okinawa still remains as a conquered state and its inhabitants less than Japanese. This notion is experienced by many Okinawans as they travel through mainland Japan and are treated as foreigners rather than brethren."

"The Koreans who assimilated to Japanese culture, “willingly” forgot their ancestry only to be rejected as Japanese nationals years later. Just as Korean lives were expendable to the Japanese government, so too were Okinawan lives. While on paper Okinawans are considered to be Japanese, for many mainland Japanese, Okinawans are considered to be less than Japanese. This belief may continue as a result of Okinawans inadvertently assimilating to U.S. culture and losing their Japanese identity. Whatever the case may be, Japan’s homogeneous claim leaves many to question their past and see confusion in their future."

Matt said...

Princess Aiko Bullied By Boys At Elementary School: "TOKYO — Japan's Princess Aiko, granddaughter of the emperor, has missed several days of classes because of bullying by boys at her elementary school, a spokesman for the royal family said Friday.

The news provided a rare glimpse into the private affairs of the world's oldest hereditary monarchy, which usually abides by strict, formal protocols and is tightlipped about personal matters.

The 8-year-old princess complained of a stomachache and expressed deep anxiety and has not attended school since coming home early Tuesday, the spokesman for the Imperial Household Agency said. He declined to provide his name, citing agency policy.

An investigation by the agency and the school revealed that she and several other students had suffered "violent things" from boys in another class, the spokesman said, declining to elaborate."

matt said...

"The Canadian"/Ben/Marie Jean/Mark/Fran. You need help. Seriously. Who leaves 30 comments on the same thread talking to themselves? It's a nice day today. Get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Unknown said...


Love your stuff, please keep it coming, especially the positive things on Korea (although I do love reading the AES items, for my own personal reasons!)